Customer Story: Zonar Systems

Zonar Maps a Smarter Route to Efficient Truck Fleet Operations

Challenge

The Zonar ZLogs® application, which runs on Zonar's proprietary 2020® purpose-built Android tablet, is designed to allow fleet managers and executives to provide more targeted training, better understand the impacts of driver performance on efficiency, and increase value through gains in productivity and utilization. The application automatically tracks driver performance, and also allows drivers to transmit, in real-time, trip logs and inspection reports to fleet management.

In order to enable real-time data transmission, all of Zonar's 2020 tablet devices are connected to a mobile carrier network, which bills Zonar at the end of each month for all of the data used across all of their devices in the United States and Canada. While the mobile carrier breaks out data usage by device – giving Zonar insight into who is consuming the data – it provides no insight into how the data is being used by each device.

"The discrepancies in how much data was being used by individual devices were huge. Some were using a ton of data, some barely any at all," says Jole Sack, Director of IT at Zonar. "Unfortunately, while we knew how much data was being used, we had no idea what that data was being used for – whether it was legitimate use, or whether drivers were using their Zonar tablets to watch movies or stream music."

Solution

To gain visibility into how data was being used across all of its 2020 tablets, Zonar deployed ExtraHop to analyze and deliver wire data-based insights. Zonar Systems Infographic

Understanding Device and End-User Behavior

Using the ExtraHop platform, Zonar was able dig into how individual devices were consuming data.

"ExtraHop heightened our visibility into the data consuming that bandwidth, so we could precisely pinpoint what was being accessed by a particular device," says Sack.

"For the first time, we could actually determine whether it was appropriate traffic that was consuming data, or whether it was non-approved use."

When Zonar actually drilled down into the usage data, what they found came as a big surprise.

"Given the amount of data being used by these devices each month, sometimes 100MB or more, we assumed that it was due to non-approved use of the web browser on the device," says Kevin Warenycia, DevOps Engineer at Zonar. "With ExtraHop, we were able to determine that this actually wasn't the case. As it turned out, our bandwidth usage was due to a bug in our tablet. Without wire data, we would have had no way to know."

Improving IT Operations

The IT team at Zonar is also leveraging wire data from ExtraHop to streamline their own operations and ensure better performance across the infrastructure. In addition to a large-scale infrastructure mapping initiative, the team is also using wire data to troubleshoot issues from code-level errors to machines throwing millions of DNS requests.

"Unlike other monitoring systems, ExtraHop helps you dig into and focus on the data you really need," says Sack. "With any monitoring system, you are drinking from the fire hose, but ExtraHop helps you quickly moderate that flow in a way that's actually consumable."

Benefits

Supporting Business Outcomes

For Zonar, the decision to purchase ExtraHop was all about showing business value, and the purchasing decision was contingent on the platform's ability to deliver insight into their tablets and data usage.

"ExtraHop demonstrated value literally on day one of the POC by showing us exactly how our devices were consuming data," says Sack. "At the end of the day, we bought ExtraHop because IT is here to support business outcomes, and that's what ExtraHop helps deliver."

From guesswork to operational intelligence

With ExtraHop, Zonar is no longer left guessing when it comes to their 2020 tablets.

"When business stakeholders come to us and say 'this device is using 100MB of data. What was it doing?' we need to be able to answer that question," says Warenycia.

"We went from an expected baseline of how all of that data was being used, to having pure operational intelligence that we could share with the business," adds Sack. "With ExtraHop we can understand what each of our individual devices is doing on the network, and easily communicate that information across our organization and to our customers."

From Reactive to Proactive

The IT team at Zonar is also leveraging insights from wire data to take a more proactive approach to troubleshooting.

"When we started working with ExtraHop, we discovered a few problems that wouldn't necessarily set off an alarm, but that were causing service impacts," says Sack. "We never would have seen it without wire data. It's like spending your whole life seeing only black and white. Until you see things in color, you don't know how good it can be."

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